One of the houseplants that most often graces our windowsills and tables during the festive period is the beautifully vibrant Poinsettia. Originating from Mexico, Euphorbia pulcherrima is commonly known as Poinsettia after Joel Robert Poinsett, the American ambassador to Mexico in the 1820-30’s.

Poinsettias have distinctive, brightly coloured bracts. They require 12 hours of darkness followed by daylight for around a week to promote the bract colouring. This is why the bracts create their colour in the autumn winter period, due to the increased hours of darkness and shortened days.

As a result they are an extremely popular houseplant to brighten the home at Christmas time or as a gift.

Discover Christmas inspiration from Hillier here.

Poinsettia Varieties

Modern varieties of poinsettia are available in a wide range of hues; reds, pinks, greens and more. It is the rich red that is most commonly seen in homes during the festive season.

Sun requirementswarm, bright draught free spot in the home
SoilMoist, well drained soil
HardinessNot hardy
SizeThey can grow up to 60cm tall and 30cm wide
Flowering timeNovember – December

Growing Guide


Cold conditions and draughts can damage the foliage on Poinsettias. Be careful about where you position them in your home and how you transport them. The temperature should be at least 13-15°C. A sunny, draught free windowsill is ideal.

Planting Ideas

For a spectacular table display place several poinsettias in a large bowl and top with moss. Alternatively visit one of our centres to see the display.

Poinsettia Fact

The botanical and Italian name for poinsettias, euphorbia pulcherrima, roughly translates as ‘very beautiful.’

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